BEIRUT: The American University of Beirut announced Tuesday that the university has witnessed a 60-percent shortfall in revenues during the past year, resulting in immense losses.
In a letter addressing the AUB community, President of AUB Dr. Fadlo Khuri, explained that the losses will most likely lead to the closure of a number of programs and departments and the layoff of several staff and faculty, among other measures.
While the university’s board and senior leadership render their final budget and decisions, Khuri also shed light on the critical matters that are currently being addressed by the various constituencies. These include: Tuition fees, needed resources, global fundraising efforts, new institutional scholarships, and AUBMC’s lost revenues.
“Projections for the next year are based on the optimistic assumption that the Lebanese pound will stabilize at 3,000 to the dollar in that period,” Khuri noted.
Annahar interviewed some AUB students following the receipt of Khuri’s letter.
“The dollarization of the tuition means we will be paying more given that the exchange rate of LBP is always changing. It means that the most vulnerable will pay the price of an economic crisis created by the country's ruling class,” Dany Rasheed, president of the AUB Secular Club, said. “We will not pay the price of the elites' failures anymore.”
“The letter we received on Tuesday was no news,” Marwa Batlouni, biology student, told Annahar. “Students have been talking and protesting against the dollarization of tuition fees since last year and calling for an immediate student contract that protects our rights.”
Batlouni added that the dollarization of AUB’s tution will result in the termination of a number of students’ education.
The finalized budget is expected to be shared with the AUB community on June 15.
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